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While it’s easy to find free embroidery machine designs for almost anything, finding free embroidery fonts is another story.
And if you don’t like the built-in fonts on your machine (mine, at least, are not great for monogramming) and don’t have embroidery software with fonts, you might want to collect more.
While you can purchase many fonts for a fairly inexpensive price, I’m a deal-hunter to the core and squeal with glee whenever I find a bargain or freebie.
As such, I searched high and low and came up with this compilation of where to download free embroidery machine fonts. These fonts are good quality and cute as well, so I hope you enjoy collecting them as much as I did!
Computer Fonts vs. Embroidery Fonts
When you type on your computer, for instance in Microsoft Word, you are using either a .otf (Open Type Font) or .ttf (True Type Font) font. This type of font file cannot be downloaded to or used directly on an embroidery machine.
This is because specialized embroidery font files include extra information directing your machine where and when to put different types of stitches to create letters.
Thus, your options for increasing your embroidery machine’s font stash are to purchase fonts or download free embroidery fonts. Either that or invest in embroidery software that converts .ttf fonts to embroidery font files.
BX Fonts, ESA Fonts, and Stitch Files Explained
If you’re new to embroidery, you may notice that some fonts include .bx or .esa files and some include only machine file formats like .pes, .jef, .xxx, or .art.
So, what format do you need to download for your machine?
1. Machine File Format Fonts
Fonts are frequently digitized letter by letter, with each letter saved as a separate stitch file (.jef, .pes, .hus, etc.)
Thus, for an entire uppercase alphabet embroidery font, you’d download 26 different files.
If you want to use embroidery fonts on your Brother, Janome, Husqvarna, etc. embroidery machine and don’t want to deal with software, download embroidery fonts in your machine’s file format. (Here’s where to learn which file format to use with your machine.)
With machine files, each font character is also digitized at a set size, which is why you’ll see digitizers offer various sizes of their font files. Since shrinking or enlarging font files results in less than desirable results, don’t expect to use a font digitized to be 1″ at a 4″ size and be happy with the result!
Now, the major drawback of letter stitch files (besides resizing woes) is you have to add each individual letter file to your machine workspace one letter at a time.
And, unless you’ve mapped your font, you can’t use your keyboard when using software to combine files to make words either. This is very time-consuming and why I prefer to NOT download stitch files (.pes fonts) when downloading free embroidery fonts for my Brother embroidery machine.
2. BX Fonts
BX fonts work with the Embrilliance embroidery software suite and are genius. Instead of having multiple stitch files per font, you download one .bx font file that contains all the information needed for that font.
Then, with the free Embrilliance Express software, you can use your keyboard to type words and combine letters and numbers.
And, after you’re done with your design, simply save the design in your machine’s file format (ex. .pes, .jef, etc.) and transfer it to your machine all at once.
To note, you cannot transfer a .bx embroidery font to your embroidery machine. You can only transfer the file you created in Embrilliance after it’s saved in your machine’s preferred format. This is why you need a computer for this method.
3. ESA Fonts
ESA fonts are my preferred choice because they work with my Hatch embroidery software. They are similar to .bx fonts (Lindee G has an awesome comparison of the two types if you want to learn more) in that you can use your keyboard to type them.
However, they’re more customizable (in terms of resizing, etc.) than .bx fonts. But, if you don’t have Hatch, this file format is not worth downloading as you also can’t transfer it directly to your machine and it only works with Wilcom products.
Where to Find Free Embroidery Machine Fonts
To access the websites where you can download these free fonts for your embroidery machine, click on the blue, underlined font names as you see them.
Then, remember to download the fonts in your preferred file format. And, if you love what a digitizer offers for free, bookmark them to consider purchasing from in the future.
1. Free BX Fonts for Embrillance
Almost Fancy, Blockish, and Textured are three free .bx fonts straight from Embrilliance themselves.
These are a fun brush script font, a thin block font, and a textured surface block font. I haven’t stitched any of them yet, but being offered by Embrilliance, you know they will be good-quality fonts for your embroidery machine.
2. Lindee G Embroidery
Lindee G offers the 1-inch size of her neon lights font for free in .bx format. Lindee G is the real thing, and the quality of her work is always great.
I recommend checking out the rest of her .bx fonts as well, as they’re very well digitized!
3. Five Star Fonts Free Embroidery Machine Fonts
Five Star Fonts is a goldmine for downloading free embroidery fonts. Fonts come in both .bx formats as well as your machine’s file format if you prefer that route.
1. First, The Free Applique Font is one of my favorite finds! Appliques are fun, easy, take up less stitching time, and allow for more color pop on outfits if you add fun fabrics. (For more info, read: how to machine applique if you’re still learning!)
2. The Fun n Funky Font is a capital letter font that comes in at around 3.85″ in height. It has two outline options and would look so cute when personalizing baby gifts.
3. The Teachers Pet Font is a catch in that it comes in five different sizes from .55″ to 1.20″. It’s a simple capital letter font that’s not a script and has a more playful vibe to it.
4. The Free Racing Numbers aren’t a font per se, but this free download includes the numbers 0-9. Many free fonts you’ll download will have alphabet letters only, so grabbing some basic free embroidery number files is a good idea, too!
5. The Freaky Embroidery Font is interesting. I’m not sure I’m in love with it, as it’s a little weirder than what I’m used to as a Mom of two cutesy girls! However, you never know when you may need a free Halloween font.
6. The Stacked Embroidery Machine Font comes in lowercase letters only, but if you pair it with a free font that comes with only capitals, you’re in luck!
4. Bunnycup Embroidery Free Fonts
Bunnycup Embroidery (one of my favorite places to buy cute appliques for baby gifts) also has a nice selection of free embroidery lettering fonts. None of their free embroidery fonts include .bx formats, though, which is unfortunate.
2. The Countryside Alphabet Font includes capital letters, lower case letters, numbers, and a couple of characters. It comes in one size slightly less than 1″.
3. The free Flores Alphabet Font is a fun block font with little flowers helping to shape the letters. It comes in one size and has both capital letters and numbers and then rectangular blocks enclosing these same characters.
5. Baby Kay’s Appliques
1. The Wild West Font is a unique Western font that comes in three sizes. I’m looking forward to using it to monogram something for my daughter when they celebrate Rodeo Week at school. (I’m from Texas, and that’s a big thing here!)
2. The Fat Dot Font reminds me of how I spent so many hours of my high school years putting little dots on all my letters to try and make projects cutesy.
As someone with HORRIBLE handwriting (former engineer and current doctor over here), I love this font!
6. GG Designs Embroidery
The free Scary Font from GG Designs Embroidery is spooky and Halloween-like. It has a little bit of a Harry Potter feel to it as well!
Unfortunately, it comes in uppercase letters only. This fill-stitch font does come in three sizes, though: 1 inch, 1.5 inches, and 2 inches, and includes numbers. You can download it in .bx or several other embroidery file formats.
There are close to 20 incredibly creative fonts on this website. Quite possibly the best selection I’ve ever seen for free!
I had some issues downloading fonts from them in the past, but it looks like the issue is fixed now.
8. Oma’s Place Free Embroidery Fonts
1. The Anna free BX font from Oma’s Place is cute and swirly. It comes in both uppercase and lowercase and would be perfect for adding a child’s name to a lunchbox or blanket.
2. The Kids Applique Alphabet is an applique embroidery font that comes in capital letters and one size. As such, there are no lowercase letters and no numbers. But, to find a free applique font is great!
9. My Sew Cute Boutique
This cute free embroidery font features both upper case and lowercase letters and is a timeless brush script embroidery font.
As a huge plus, it comes in SIX sizes, from 1″ to 6″.
To download, you have to agree to receive their newsletter and provide an address and phone number. Not too much of a hardship, I suppose, to grab a free font in 6 different sizes.
10. Fun Stitch
1. The cherry letters font includes free swirly capital letters decorated with cherries, leaves, and hearts. This is cute if you want to monogram something with just a single letter! It may look a little ridiculous to put several letters in a row into a name, for instance.
11. Kreative Kiwi Embroidery
1. This cute free redwork baby alphabet will be perfect for embroidering something for a baby shower!
2. Check out this running stitch alphabet that comes in at around 20mm in height and includes both upper and lower case letters.
12. Apex Embroidery
The Gift Embroidery Font is, well, a gift for signing up for this digitizer’s free newsletter. It does not include a free .bx font file but offers most other machine font files. Sizes include 1.5″, 2″, and 2.5″.
Built-In Embroidery Fonts on Your Machine
Of course, computerized embroidery machines like the Brother SE600 and PE800 include a small selection of fonts loaded onto the machine. Unfortunately, these fonts aren’t always the most attractive.
It’s no wonder I started looking for free Brother embroidery fonts for my machine, right?
Furthermore, there are limitations to how big and how small you can make the built-in fonts on your embroidery machine. Another reason to have a variety of fonts.
For instance, I needed extra-small letters for embroidering sleeve cuffs, and my machine would not shrink its fonts that much. Ultimately, I ended up finding a font digitized to be used for small lettering in my embroidery software.
Speaking of built-in fonts, if you have a combination sewing and embroidery machine, one other place to look for free embroidery alphabets is within your sewing stitches!
To use these, keep your embroidered item in its hoop, switch your machine to sew, snap on your monogramming foot, and program the letters you want to sew. Then, stitch out the words!
Other Good Options for Cheap Embroidery Machine Fonts
If you don’t like any of the above free embroidery fonts but are on a strict budget, here are other affordable ways to build up your font stash.
1. Consider an inexpensive embroidery software like SewWhat-Pro.
Here, you can (with varied results) convert .ttf computer fonts to embroidery fonts. The end results aren’t always perfect, but this is worth considering if you have many unique fonts on your computer.
(I do have a SewWhat-Pro review and tutorial and a tutorial for how to create a monogram in Sew What Pro if you want to learn more about the program!)
Of course, more expensive software options have a full suite of built-in fonts that can be edited happily for a wide range of sizes.
You can also buy their entire website for $20, which includes hundreds of design packs and many more fonts. (Read more in my Embroidery Super Deal review. I’ve bought the entire site deal in the past and loved it!)
3. If you want ESA fonts to use with Hatch Embroidery, check out wilcomembroideryfonts.com. Sometimes you can find a free ESA font or two, but I can’t guarantee anything obviously.
How to Download Free Embroidery Fonts
For those not technologically inclined, simply click on the font files on each digitizer’s website to download them to your computer. Each website should have exact detailed download instructions if you are having issues.
Often, these embroidery designers offer their files in zipped format. Since most embroidery machines cannot read zipped files, follow these instructions to unzip the files.
Any Free Fonts I’m Missing?
I’m always in the market for free goodies for my embroidery machine, so I’d love to hear if you know any other places that offer free fonts!
And, if you’re a deal-lover like me, check out some of my other freebies-related posts to get you inspired for your next project: